WO2008067147A9 - Method, system and apparatus for dwell monitoring in a retail establishment - Google Patents

Method, system and apparatus for dwell monitoring in a retail establishment

Info

Publication number
WO2008067147A9
WO2008067147A9 PCT/US2007/084317 US2007084317W WO2008067147A9 WO 2008067147 A9 WO2008067147 A9 WO 2008067147A9 US 2007084317 W US2007084317 W US 2007084317W WO 2008067147 A9 WO2008067147 A9 WO 2008067147A9
Authority
WO
WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
signal detecting
zone
detecting device
number
store
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/US2007/084317
Other languages
French (fr)
Other versions
WO2008067147A2 (en
WO2008067147A3 (en
Inventor
Rodney R Saunders
Original Assignee
Infologix Inc
Rodney R Saunders
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to US85866906P priority Critical
Priority to US60/858,669 priority
Application filed by Infologix Inc, Rodney R Saunders filed Critical Infologix Inc
Publication of WO2008067147A2 publication Critical patent/WO2008067147A2/en
Publication of WO2008067147A3 publication Critical patent/WO2008067147A3/en
Publication of WO2008067147A9 publication Critical patent/WO2008067147A9/en

Links

Classifications

    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06QDATA PROCESSING SYSTEMS OR METHODS, SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES; SYSTEMS OR METHODS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • G06Q50/00Systems or methods specially adapted for specific business sectors, e.g. utilities or tourism
    • G06Q50/10Services
    • G06Q50/22Social work
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06QDATA PROCESSING SYSTEMS OR METHODS, SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES; SYSTEMS OR METHODS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • G06Q10/00Administration; Management
    • G06Q10/06Resources, workflows, human or project management, e.g. organising, planning, scheduling or allocating time, human or machine resources; Enterprise planning; Organisational models
    • GPHYSICS
    • G08SIGNALLING
    • G08BSIGNALLING OR CALLING SYSTEMS; ORDER TELEGRAPHS; ALARM SYSTEMS
    • G08B21/00Alarms responsive to a single specified undesired or abnormal operating condition and not elsewhere provided for
    • G08B21/18Status alarms
    • G08B21/22Status alarms responsive to presence or absence of persons
    • GPHYSICS
    • G16INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY [ICT] SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR SPECIFIC APPLICATION FIELDS
    • G16HHEALTHCARE INFORMATICS, i.e. INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY [ICT] SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR THE HANDLING OR PROCESSING OF MEDICAL OR HEALTHCARE DATA
    • G16H40/00ICT specially adapted for the management or administration of healthcare resources or facilities; ICT specially adapted for the management or operation of medical equipment or devices
    • G16H40/20ICT specially adapted for the management or administration of healthcare resources or facilities; ICT specially adapted for the management or operation of medical equipment or devices for the management or administration of healthcare resources or facilities, e.g. managing hospital staff or surgery rooms
    • GPHYSICS
    • G16INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY [ICT] SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR SPECIFIC APPLICATION FIELDS
    • G16HHEALTHCARE INFORMATICS, i.e. INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY [ICT] SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR THE HANDLING OR PROCESSING OF MEDICAL OR HEALTHCARE DATA
    • G16H10/00ICT specially adapted for the handling or processing of patient-related medical or healthcare data
    • G16H10/60ICT specially adapted for the handling or processing of patient-related medical or healthcare data for patient-specific data, e.g. for electronic patient records
    • G16H10/65ICT specially adapted for the handling or processing of patient-related medical or healthcare data for patient-specific data, e.g. for electronic patient records stored on portable record carriers, e.g. on smartcards, RFID tags or CD

Abstract

A method, system and apparatus for facilitating dwell monitoring in a retail store, including detecting and monitoring the number of shoppers in a store through the use of broadcasting devices, such as RFID tags, and associated signal detecting devices, and a processor for processing the information, and storage media for storing the information, as desired (such as, for example, a computer), and an event engine for comparing the information processed with threshold data to generate alerts when a threshold is reached.

Description

METHOD, SYSTEM AND APPARATUS FOR DWELL MONITORING IN A RETAIL ESTABLISHMENT CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This application claims priority to U.S. provisional application serial no. 60/858,669, filed on November 13, 2006, the complete disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference. BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] The present method, system and apparatus provides for monitoring and may be used to facilitate meeting needs for the checkout area, dynamically maintain appropriate staffing levels, create "surge11 models, analyze periodic trends and improve customer service. The method, system and apparatus may be used to manage aspects of a retail store facility. BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0003] An embodiment provides a method, system and apparatus for facilitating dwell monitoring. The number of shoppers m a store may be detected through the use of broadcasting devices, such as RFID tags, and associated signal detecting devices. The information may be stored and processed with storage equipment and a processor (such as, for example, a computer). BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0004] Fig. l is a schematic illustration showing the monitoring of a retail area.

[0005] Fig. 2 is a schematic diagram illustrating a method, system and apparatus for monitoring in a retail store. DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0006] One embodiment of the method, system and apparatus utilizes WiFi enabled RFID tags to determine the number of shoppers in the checkout area (or any other area) of the store. The RFID tags are associated with a cart, basket or carrier which a consumer utilizes while in the retail establishment. Detection apparatus is positioned in one or more locations throughout the retail establishment to receive transmissions from RFID devices. The transmissions are processed with a processing device, such as a computer, and may be stored. Software may be used to provide a set of instructions for handling the information received from the RFID tags. For example, information may include at which location the RFID detection apparatus may be based on the detection apparatus location which senses the RFID in its vicinity. Detection apparatus may be associated with one or more zones within the establishment. For example, a single detector or group of detectors may define a zone, the zone being within the range of the single detector, or group of detectors. Alternately, or in addition thereto, different detectors (or different groups of detectors) may define different zones. The detection apparatus may receive transmissions from cart associated RFID tags, to determine the number of carts, or individuals, in a particular zone of the establishment.

[0007] This will allow retailers to dynamically maintain staffing, create 'surge' models, periodic trends and provide better customer service. For example, if the dwell lime for moveable carts in the checkout area (a zone) reaches a certain threshold, then this information may be used to generate an alert, such as for example, that more cashiers are needed at the checkout (i.e., more lanes need to be opened).

[0008] An example illustrating an embodiment of the invention is shown in Fig. 2. Fig. 2 is a schematic diagram illustrating a method, system and apparatus for monitoring a checkout area and alerting management when the number and dwell time of customers in a checkout zone exceeds a threshold. Software is employed on a processing device, such as for example, a computer to utilize data from a location engine source (which may be a commercially available

- ? - software package) to monitor 'dwell time' and create events based on variable thresholds. For example, the dwell time may be the time which a consumer is present in the checkout zone. The event engine, which for example, may comprise software containing a set of instructions which may be executed when a threshold number of RFID devices (e.g., carts or consumers) are present at the checkout, or when dwell time for one or more associated RFID tags is sensed at the checkout zone. The event engine may then utilize one or multiple communication paths for alerting people, such as store management or employees, or other systems, and may record data for further analysis.

[0009] An embodiment uses one or more antenna to regulate the dimension of the zone of coverage for the detector (or group of detectors). For example, a tunable antenna may be employed to provide a geometrically configurable zone. For example, where a checkout zone is a generally linear zone of adjacent stations, the detector may be configured to cover the adjacent checkout stations. One embodiment uses a unidirectional antenna. The antenna may have or be configured with a unidirectional radiation and response pattern, such as, for example a Yagi antenna.

[0010] Fig. 1 illustrates another embodiment where multiple data, which includes dwell time data and demand data, is utilized. The system, method and apparatus illustrated in the schematic view of Fig. 1, shows the monitoring of an entire retail area (which may comprise one zone or multiple zones) and creating 'demand' and 'dwell time' data based on the ratio(s) of shoppers in the store versus those preparing to check out. For example, the RFID tags may indicate through detection by one or more detection apparatus the number of carts, baskets or other containers (which correspond with the number of shoppers in the store) on one hand, and the number of carts, baskets or other containers (which correspond with the number of shoppers in the store) on the other hand which are at the checkout zone.

[0011] The method, system and apparatus include configuring areas of the store to correspond with one or more zones. For example the zones may include one or more checkout zones, and may additionally or alternately include plurality of zones throughout the store. For example, a zone may be configured to receive RFlD transmissions within an area of a marketing display. The display zone may sense the presence of RFID tags, their duration within the zone or dwell lime, and record and/or report this data. For example, one marketing display may have results (e.g., dwell time and visit frequency) greater than another marketing display. The sensed data may provide this information, and the information used to facilitate purchases through efficient use of displays. The retailer may use the system, method and apparatus to determine how Jong shoppers 'stayed' in a certain department or in front of a marketing display, a practice which generally is sometimes referred to as 'stickiness' in marketing parlance. Benefits may be derived by not only in retail store operations by retailers, but also by CPG companies who are continuously trying to determine the most valuable marketing displays and shelf facing tactics.

Claims

WHAT IS CLAIMED IS
L A method for facilitating monitoring of shoppers in a store, including: placing one or more signal detecting devices in a location within a store, said range of said signal detecting device comprising a zone; associating with a movable cart an RFID tag; sensing the RFID tag as the movable cart is moved within the range of a signal detecting device; collecting the information to determine the number of RFID devices in a particular zone; determining whether the number of RFID devices detected within said particular zone meets a threshold; generating an alert when the number of RFID devices meets a threshold.
2. The method of claim 1, wherein the zone is a location at the checkout location of the store.
3. The method of claim 1, wherein the dwell time for RFID devices corresponding to moveable carts in the checkout location is determined, and wherein the alert is generated when the RFID devices associated with said moveable carts dwell in said checkout location for a predetermined length of time.
4. A system for facilitating monitoring of shoppers in a store, including: at least one signal detecting device adapted for positioning in a location within a store, said signal detecting device having a range corresponding to a zone; an RFID tag adapted to be carried on a movable cart; wherein said RFED tag earned by said movable cart is configured to be detectible when said RFID tag is said zone corresponding to said signal detecting device; data collection means for collecting the information to determine the number of RFID devices in a particular zone; means for determining whether the number of RFID devices detected within said particular zone meets a threshold; alert generating means for generating an alert when the number of RFID devices in said zone meets a threshold.
5, The system of claim 4, wherein a plurality of signal detecting devices are provided, and wherein a plurality of zones are configured, wherein each zone corresponds with one signal detecting device or a group of signal detecting devices.
6. An apparatus for managing retail store facilities, including at least one signal detecting device adapted for positioning in a location within a store, said signal detecting device having a range corresponding to a zone; an RFID tag adapted to be carried on a movable cart; wherein said RFID tag carried by said movable cart is configured to be detectible when said RFID tag is said zone corresponding to said signal detecting device; a device for collecting data from said signal detecting device for collecting the information to determine the number of RFID devices in a particular zone; an event engine for determining whether the number of RFID devices detected within said particular zone meets a threshold, said event engine being configured to generate an alert to correspond with detection criteria.
PCT/US2007/084317 2006-11-13 2007-11-09 Method, system and apparatus for dwell monitoring in a retail establishment WO2008067147A2 (en)

Priority Applications (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US85866906P true 2006-11-13 2006-11-13
US60/858,669 2006-11-13

Publications (3)

Publication Number Publication Date
WO2008067147A2 WO2008067147A2 (en) 2008-06-05
WO2008067147A3 WO2008067147A3 (en) 2008-08-14
WO2008067147A9 true WO2008067147A9 (en) 2008-10-02

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PCT/US2007/084340 WO2008063936A2 (en) 2006-11-13 2007-11-09 Method and apparatus for managing and locating hospital assets, patients and personnel
PCT/US2007/084317 WO2008067147A2 (en) 2006-11-13 2007-11-09 Method, system and apparatus for dwell monitoring in a retail establishment

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US (2) US20090033491A1 (en)
WO (2) WO2008063936A2 (en)

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Also Published As

Publication number Publication date
WO2008067147A2 (en) 2008-06-05
WO2008063936A3 (en) 2008-10-23
WO2008067147A3 (en) 2008-08-14
US20090033491A1 (en) 2009-02-05
WO2008063936A2 (en) 2008-05-29
US20080126126A1 (en) 2008-05-29

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